[Tweeters] American Dipper at Greenlake today

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 09:55:35 PDT 2015


Thank you, in turn, for your reply! Of course, a forested creek is more understandable than the shore of a downtown lake. A fun sighting for sure! And as Evan Houston and perhaps other Tweeters have noted, Patricia North reported one from the Montlake Fill yesterday. Relocated from Green Lake? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, a great bird for a great park!

I think that what Josh Adams said has merit (and that opinion doesn't just come from appreciation of his awesome first name). Dippers are probably of more frequent occurrence in the lowlands than we think. If I were a dipper, I sure wouldn't turn down a lowland stream, or perhaps even the shoreline of a lake, full of insects and other goodies! just wanted to bring a couple additional lowland records that I found interesting:

Martha Washington Park (just south of Seward Park) - February 11th, 2013:
http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/2013-February/095747.html

Washington Park Arboretum - October 29, 2008:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S4235142

Marymoor Park - October 27, 2011:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S9019792

Lake Sammamish State Park - January 1, 2011:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S7360805

The latter two parks do have streams in them, so they are perhaps less unusual than the first two, but they still do reflect a pattern of lowland dispersal in fall and winter.

Most interesting to me was this record of 5 (!) dippers at May Creek Park in Renton, seen by Bill Tweit on November 16th, 1977:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15158957

Mary Stotz also saw a dipper May Creek Park, on July 15, 2015!
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24284598

Finally, I think that it is worthy to note that dippers are indeed capable of some vagrancy! Shawn Ashbaugh found that out when she saw a dipper at Prairie Creek Park in Dallas, Texas - December 23, 2004:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S10618231

There was a blog post just two days ago on the American Birding Association website (that for some reason disappeared) called Our Favorite Bird. It discusses how a single species can captive an entire listserv, and the example used was the Sandhill Crane, whose massive flocks pass through Colorado in two days in October. The same thing is unfolding in similar fashion right here on Tweeters! It would seem that the dipper has a special place for all of us, and the Washington birding community shares a definite collective fascination, especially for those birders in the Seattle area.

Good birding (and long live dippers), Joshua Glant

Mercer Island, WA

Josh.n.glant at gmail.com

PS Thank you for your appreciation! Nice to know that my presence on Tweeters is enjoyed. :)

Oct 18, 2015, at 2:10 PM, barry <levineb at fastmail.fm> wrote:


> Joshua

> Thanks for the reply. The reason I posted it was that Greenlake doesn't have a fast moving creek anywhere near it. Makes for a very unusual sighting. In some ways more interesting and rare than some birds that others will chase.

> Always like reading about your exploits. Nice to know we have a steady stream of young birders who care. It bodes well for the future.

> All the best

>

> --

> barry

> levineb at fastmail.fm

>

>

>> On Sun, Oct 18, 2015, at 10:49 AM, Joshua Glant wrote:

>> Back in early October 2013, a full year before I joined Tweeters and a bit before I began to use eBird, I went to Salmon Days in Issaquah with my family. This must have been October 5th/6th, though it was more likely Sunday the 6th. We had a great time looking at Sockeye Salmon swarming upstream at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, their red and green bodies wriggling like the shifting rapids of Issaquah Creek. Near the end of our visit, we stopped at a little bridge over the East Fork Issaquah Creek, just south of the Darigold facility along Front Street in downtown Issaquah.

>>

>> As I leaned over the concrete barrier, watching the salmon swim by below, a father and his young daughter were also spectating right next to me. Suddenly the father said, "look at that cute little black bird!" I was surprised and a bit confused, and I followed his pointing finger to an earthy gray, wren-like bird, dipping up and down on a rock in the creek. It was, of course, a dipper! I watched that bird for many minutes, savoring my long-a anticipated lifer sighting of this unique bird. A bit later, I realized that this was an unusual sighting for the lowlands. This email thread has reminded me; once I find out the date, I will submit this as an incidental record on eBird, complete with photos and perhaps a video for readers' viewing pleasure!

>>

>> Good birding, Joshua Glant

>>

>> Mercer Island, WA

>>

>> Josh.n.glant at gmail.com

>>

>>> On Oct 18, 2015, at 7:42 AM, Teresa Michelsen <teresa at avocetconsulting.com> wrote:

>>>

>>> I saw one for sure, possibly two birds two weeks ago just downstream of Weeks Falls on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie – still in King County but getting toward the edges. The first bird flew in not two seconds after I thought to myself “this looks like a great place for dippers!”

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> I’m pretty amazed by Green Lake though! There is one that has been near the old Olympia Brewery forever, but that is much more the type of habitat you would expect.

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> Teresa Michelsen

>>>

>>> North Bend, WA

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Connie Sidles

>>> Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 4:18 AM

>>> To: barry

>>> Cc: tweeters message

>>> Subject: Re: [Tweeters] American Dipper at Greenlake today

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> Hey tweets, I don't know about Green Lake records, but in Gene Hunn's book, "Birding in Seattle and King County," he notes that there are a few winter records for American Dippers in the lowlands of King County, and some nesting records as well:

>>>

>>> • a few nesting below Snoqualmie Falls

>>>

>>> • nesting birds on Tokul Creek near Fall City

>>>

>>> • a pair with young near Kenmore in Wallace Swamp Creek Park

>>>

>>> • a winter record in Wallace Swamp Creek just upstream from Lake Washington

>>>

>>> • a famous one that frequented the trout hatchery outlet in Seward Park for 12 years, 1978-89.

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> So American Dippers can be found in out of the way places, but a Green Lake bird is still super. - Connie, Seattle

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> constancesidles at gmail.com

>>>

>>> www.constancypress.com

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> On Oct 17, 2015, at 9:32 PM, barry <levineb at fastmail.fm> wrote:

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> Tweeters,

>>> Kate Tillotson and I saw an American Dipper at Greenlake this afternoon

>>> near the softball field located directly south of the pool. The bird

>>> flew in from near the swimming area, landed on the lake, swam for a few

>>> seconds, then headed to the lakes edge where it proceeded to feed around

>>> exposed rocks. Given the unusual nature of seeing this species there

>>> would welcome any input about previous records. Maybe Martin Muller will

>>> chime in.

>>> Sorry for the late report but we had no access at the time to pass this

>>> along to the group.

>>> All the best

>>> --

>>> barry Levine

>>> seattle

>>> levineb at fastmail.fm

>>>

>>> --

>>> http://www.fastmail.com - Same, same, but different...

>>>

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> --

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